The New Year is quickly approaching! That means more goals and New Year’s resolutions.
Take a moment to reflect on how this year went for you. Did you meet all your goals? Did you even set goals? Do you feel like you are better off now than you were a year ago? Did you succeed in your New Year’s resolutions, or did you give them up a few months in?
Regardless of the year you had, the time is now to prepare and set attainable goals for next year. Here are 8 easy goals to set for the New Year.
1. Get Out of Debt
I get it, this is a tough one. For some people, it may even be impossible to get out of debt in one year. The topic of getting out of debt can be so sensitive that some people would rather not talk about it and continue paying the minimum owed each month. However, it doesn’t have to be this way.
Take some time to assess all your debt. Yes, everything. Let it sink in how much you actually owe and decide that you are going to pay it off sooner rather than later. Make this the year you start taking your debt seriously.
If you have no idea where to start, you could always pay a little bit more than your minimum payment requires. This could cut down your amount of payments and save you hundreds of interest fees in the long run.
If you feel like even that isn’t enough, schedule an appointment with a financial counselor. The entire purpose of this New Year’s goal is to work toward a debt-free life, so you’ll want to make sure you are doing it in the most effective and convenient way possible.
2. Save Money
This New Year’s don’t just pay down your debt, save money as well! Now is the perfect time to set realistic financial goals so that you can have a solid savings in case of an emergency or unexpected purchase. If it’s hard for you to save money from every paycheck (yes, every paycheck), click here to learn how to make it a good habit.
If you don’t already have a savings account, its time to talk to your bank. If you do have a savings account but have been neglecting it, commit to depositing a certain amount of money each month.
A great way to do this is to pick an amount you want to have saved by the end of the year. Then, divide that by 12 and you’ll have the amount you need to save monthly. If the amount is too high or low for you, adjust it. You’ll want to make sure you are setting realistic goals so that you don’t get overwhelmed or frustrated.
Also, if you are living paycheck to paycheck, make this the year you change that. A paycheck to paycheck lifestyle is risky and dangerous. By having a savings, it forces you to break that habit and you’ll sleep better at night knowing you can pay all your bills.
For other ways to save money, read this article on how to kickstart your savings.
3. Start a Side Hustle
In 2017 I managed to start two side hustles. One of them is this blog, and the other is an E-Commerce Retail business my boyfriend Ryan and I run. Neither of them have been easy but both of them are completely worth it.
Starting your own business or getting a side gig can be scary. It forces you outside of your comfort zone and there is a risk of failure. But, you can never succeed if you don’t at least try. Make this the year you finally chase your side gig. This could be some form of hobby that you turn into a business, a blog/website of your own, or something as simple as driving for Uber.
The good thing about starting a side hustle is that it is all at your own pace. When I decided to start a blog in January of 2017, it took me 11 months to launch. During those 11 months, I took my time on building my website and crafting my niche. But, I was determined to launch in 2017 and I did. Now, I have all of 2018 to grow and see what all I can achieve with my new blog.
Regardless of what side hustle you decide to pursue, this year is the perfect time to expand your horizons and make an extra income.
4. Healthy Lifestyle
I know, I know, food and exercise will be on every New Year’s list on the internet. There’s a reason for that. It’s important!
I personally am not someone you will find at the gym so I know how hard it can be to commit to a workout routine. And with working a full-time job, it’s extra difficult to find the time. But trust me, there are ways. In fact, I lost about 15 pounds by working out at my full-time job.
Healthy eating is also something many people roll their eyes at. While it’s easier to get fast food for lunch every day, that’s harsh on the body and heavy on the wallet. To combat that, start meal prepping for the week and using the weekend only for eating out. When you meal prep, you get to save money and eat healthy.
If you want to read about my breakfast meal-prep, check out the green smoothies I make for breakfast.
Have you ever sat down to write and felt surprised at the words that came out of your head? Imagine doing that often. Journaling is a beautiful time of healing and learning. Sometimes we get so bogged down by the sadness of the world, we forget to take care of ourselves mentally. Journaling is an effective way to clear your thoughts and also store beautiful memories you want to remember.
Along with journaling, devotionals are a great way to began or end a day. A daily devotional forces you to spend a few moments in peace and reflection and can help you prepare for your day or unwind before bed. A devotional is also a great chance to become more grounded in religion.
6. Less TV, More Focus
How hard is it to stay focused these days? With shows like Game of Thrones and Stranger Things, it’s way too easy to binge watch and lose hours at a time. It’s time to remind ourselves the meaning of self-control (which is so difficult when a new season of Orange is the New Black comes out).
Instead of giving into the binge, use TV as a reward. Remember that side hustle you’re starting? Give that your time and energy and use TV as a reward at the end of the day. If you can, try to even hold out until the weekend. The more clear your mind is, the more progress you will see on other important aspects of your life.
It’s easy to lose touch with people now that we are in the digital age. Although we may see them on social media, the amount of time we spend with them physically is limited. Take a few moments this New Year to reconnect with one person every month or every other month. It can be extremely refreshing to do this and old friendships can be rekindled.
This step may require coming out of your comfort zone a little bit but once you do it, you will feel amazing. Simply pick a date to call/text an old friend and enjoy reminiscing about the good ‘ol days. This also works for any relationships that need mending.
8. Chase a Hobby
Is there something you’ve always wanted to do but never had the time to? Something like painting, learning a new language, fishing, or starting a garden. Invest in yourself this New Year by doing something that makes you happy. Hobbies can be a fun activity to get your mind off of your long days and can also greatly enrich you as a person.
It’s time to stop putting off your desired hobby and go out there and emerge yourself in it. Sometimes hobbies can be turned into businesses and your side hustle becomes that much easier. If you don’t have a hobby that you desire, do some research or try a few things until you find what you enjoy. You’ll be much happier once you have a hobby to look forward to.